Grad Advice

Rents are more affordable in Houston for college grads than almost any big city in the nation

Houston ranks near top of list of affordable cities for college grads

Graduates throwing caps in the air
A study by Trulia found that Houston is one of the best places in the country for recent graduates to find affordable housing. Courtesy photo

Now that the school year is over, millions of recent graduates are looking for jobs and places to live, and according to a new study, Houston is one of the country's most affordable markets for these recent grads.

Real estate website Trulia found that two Texas cities are within the top five most affordable rental markets for recent grads, with Dallas ranking No. 2 and Houston coming in at No. 3.

In Houston, 10.4 percent of rental units are affordable to recent grads with the maximum monthly rent payment that would be considered affordable to them as $746.

No. 1 on the list is St. Louis where 18.6 percent of rental units are affordable to that demographic with a maximum affordable monthly rent payment is $666. In Dallas, 14.9 percent of rental units are affordable to recent grads and the maximum affordable rent is $799.

Atlanta and Phoenix came in at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. 

The most expensive cities for college grads are Portland, southern California locales (Riverside-San Bernardino, Orange County and San Diego) and Miami.

To conduct the study, Trulia looked at the portion of rental homes on the site within financial reach of  employed college graduates between the ages of 22 and 25 as of May 7. The standard for affordability is whether the total monthly payment, including rental payment and insurance, equals less than 31 percent of the metro area's median income for recent grads.

According to the study, renters in Houston and Dallas might still need a roommate to make the median rental affordable. (In Houston it would take .7 and in Dallas .5; numbers have been rounded up since any fraction of a roommate would count as a whole person.) But that's better than New York (2.6), Miami (2.3) and Los Angeles (2.3), where it would take as many as three roommates to make the median rent affordable.